Apple went after enterprise customers in its most meaningful way to date in 2015. The company generated $25 billion in revenue from its enterprise business during the 12 months ending in June, according to CEO Tim Cook. “This is not a hobby, this is a real business,” he said during an interview in September. Apple changed its enterprise tune in myriad ways in 2015 with the release of new devices like the iPad Pro and its ongoing warming of relations with IBM and Microsoft.
It was a busy year for the iconic Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Here are our picks for 15 most important Apple stories of the past year.
1) Inside Apple’s odd, yet effective, social media strategy
Apple does social media differently than its peers in the tech world, and though it isn’t ignoring social to the extent it did in the past, you shouldn’t expect to see any official @Apple account on Twitter any time soon.
2) Why Apple keeps its distance from enterprise IT (and why it works)
CIOs and tech pros may wish Apple took a more traditional approach to IT support, but the fact is the company has reason to maintain a degree of separation. It may never officially embrace enterprise, but that’s OK.
3) 3 telltale signs Apple is changing its enterprise tune
Apple’s new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, combined with a surprise visit from Microsoft in September, all suggest Apple is finally ready to get serious about enterprise.
4) How Apple’s privacy stance could give Google an AI edge
Today, there’s a tradeoff between user privacy and the effectiveness of artificial intelligence (AI) apps such as Siri and Google Now. Apple’s strong privacy stance may drum up kudos from consumers but also give Google a technological advantage in AI.
5) Is Apple’s walled garden showing signs of erosion?
A rudimentary malware attack infected hundreds of iOS apps before Apple caught on. It put a spotlight on security and brings into question the market perception that Apple’s platform and devices are inherently safer than rivals’ products.
6) 3 good reasons why iPad Pro won’t replace your laptop
Apple’s new iPad Pro excels in some very specific ways and disappoints in others, but pros and cons aside, it’s just not accurate to compare the tablet to a traditional laptop, or suggest it should be a viable replacement. (For more on the iPad Pro, ready about why Apple says the iPad Pro is built for business.)
7) Why Apple and Microsoft are suddenly playing nice
Tense history aside, Apple and Microsoft now share considerable opportunities in the business world. Both IT administrators and users stand to benefit if friendly relations between the two technology leaders continue to develop, according to analysts and industry watchers.
8) CIOs say AppleCare for Enterprise is lacking
Apple is slowly wading into enterprise waters, but the company gives preferential treatment to organizations that have relationships with its partner, IBM. CIOs and other IT leaders also say the initial fruit of that partnership, AppleCare for Enterprise, mostly disappoints.
9) Why Apple rules UX, its native iOS apps suck, and that’s OK
Some of Apple’s native apps languished when the company prioritized user experience over app development. However, Apple enjoys a competitive advantage that has little to do with the apps it ships on its devices and everything to do with third-party developers.
10) CIOs say Apple still doesn’t care about enterprise
Apple may cater to the enterprise more than ever before, but only big businesses feel the love. CIOs of smaller organizations that support Macs and iOS devices seek meaningful relationships with Apple, but convincing the consumer giant to shift toward enterprise is a losing battle.
11) Apple’s Cook looks to grow its $25 billion enterprise business
During a keynote address in San Francisco in late September, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the company’s recent focus on the enterprise and suggested that modern businesses can do much more with mobility than simple messaging and browsing.
12) What Apple News means to publishers, advertisers and you
Many publishers are finding profits elusive in a mobile-first world. The upcoming Apple News app just might be the revenue boost they all seek. However, with a few false steps it could also devolve into yet another useless walled garden of ad-centric click bait.
13) History of Apple and Microsoft: 4 decades of peaks and valleys
The decades-long relationship between Apple and Microsoft is packed with ups and downs, but it also shaped the evolution of personal computing. The companies have again cozied up to one another, and this time they have a new endgame: enterprise. (For more on the history of Apple and Microsoft, check out our slideshow of 10 key moments in the history of Apple and Microsoft.)
14) People close to Steve Jobs discuss controversial new film
The highly anticipated, oft-protested film about the life and times of Steve Jobs not surprisingly received mixed reviews. Many folks who were close to the late Apple cofounder defended Jobs’ legacy and say he deserves to be portrayed in a more positive light.
15) 5 things you need to know about Apple’s Volume Purchase Program
Apple’s Volume Purchase Program gives IT administrators purchase and deployment controls for iOS and Mac apps. Here are five things enterprises need to know about Apple VPP and the new IT-friendly features expected in iOS 9.